Kinetic Parameter Estimation from Thermogravimetry and Microscale Combustion Calorimetry

Flammability analysis of extruded polystyrene (XPS) has become crucial due to its utilization as insulation material for energy efficient buildings. Using the Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa methods, the degradation kinetics of two pure XPS from the local market, red and grey ones, were obtained from the results of thermogravity analysis (TG) and microscale combustion calorimetry (MCC) experiments performed under the same heating rates. From the experiments, it was discovered that red XPS released more heat than grey XPS and both materials showed two mass loss stages. Consequently, the kinetic parameters for red XPS were higher than grey XPS. A comparative evaluation of activation energies from MCC and TG showed an insignificant degree of deviation signifying an equivalent apparent activation energy from both methods. However, different activation energy profiles as a result of the different chemical pathways were presented when the dependencies of the activation energies on extent of conversion for TG and MCC were compared.

Estimation of Uncertainty of Thermal Conductivity Measurement with Single Laboratory Validation Approach

The thermal conductivity of thermal insulation materials are measured by Heat Flow Meter (HFM) apparatus. The components of uncertainty are complex and difficult on routine measurement by modelling approach. In this study, uncertainty of thermal conductivity measurement was estimated by single laboratory validation approach. The within-laboratory reproducibility was 1.1%. The standard uncertainty of method and laboratory bias by using SRM1453 expanded polystyrene board was dominant at 1.4%. However, it was assessed that there was no significant bias. For sample measurement, the sources of uncertainty were repeatability, density of sample and thermal conductivity resolution of HFM. From this approach to sample measurements, the combined uncertainty was calculated. In summary, the thermal conductivity of sample, polystyrene foam, was reported as 0.03367 W/m·K ± 3.5% (k = 2) at mean temperature 23.5 °C. The single laboratory validation approach is simple key of routine testing laboratory for estimation uncertainty of thermal conductivity measurement by using HFM, according to ISO/IEC 17025-2017 requirements. These are meaningful for laboratory competent improvement, quality control on products, and conformity assessment.

Sustainable Development of Medium Strength Concrete Using Polypropylene as Aggregate Replacement

Plastic as an environmental burden is a well-rehearsed topic in the research area. This is due to its global demand and destructive impacts on the environment, which has been a significant concern to the governments. Typically, the use of plastic in the construction industry is seen across low-density, non-structural applications due to its diverse range of benefits including high strength-to-weight ratios, manipulability and durability. It can be said that with the level of plastic consumption experienced in the construction industry, an ongoing responsibility is shown for this sector to continually innovate alternatives for application of recycled plastic waste such as using plastic made replacement from polyethylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl and polypropylene in the concrete mix design. In this study, the impact of partially replaced fine aggregate with polypropylene in the concrete mix design was investigated to evaluate the concrete’s compressive strength by conducting an experimental work which comprises of six concrete mix batches with polypropylene replacements ranging from 0.5 to 3.0%. The results demonstrated a typical decline in the compressive strength with the addition of plastic aggregate, despite this reduction generally mitigated as the level of plastic in the concrete mix increased. Furthermore, two of the six plastic-containing concrete mixes tested in the current study exceeded the ST5 standardised prescribed concrete mix compressive strength requirement at 28-days containing 1.50% and 2.50% plastic aggregates, which demonstrated the potential for use of recycled polypropylene in structural applications, as a partial by mass, fine aggregate replacement in the concrete mix.

A Hygrothermal Analysis and Structural Performance of Wood-Frame Wall Systems with Low-Permeance Exterior Insulation

Increasing the level of exterior insulation in residential buildings is a popular way for improving the thermal characteristic of building enclosure and reducing heat loss. However, the layout and properties of materials composing the wall have a great effect on moisture accumulation within the wall cavity, long-term durability of a wall as well as the structural performance. A one-dimensional hygrothermal modeling has been performed to investigate moisture condensation risks and the drying capacity of standard 2×4 and 2×6 light wood-frame wall assemblies including exterior low-permeance extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation. The analysis considered two different wall configurations whereby the rigid insulation board was placed either between Oriented Strand Board (OSB) sheathing and the stud or outboard to the structural sheathing. The thickness of the insulation varied between 0 mm and 50 mm and the analysis has been conducted for eight different locations in Canada, covering climate zone 4 through zone 8. Results show that the wall configuration with low-permeance insulation inserted between the stud and OSB sheathing accumulates more moisture within the stud cavity, compared to the assembly with the same insulation placed exterior to the sheathing. On the other hand, OSB moisture contents of the latter configuration were markedly higher. Consequently, the analysis of hygrothermal performance investigated and compared moisture accumulation in both the OSB and stud cavity. To investigate the structural performance of the wall and the effect of soft insulation layer inserted between the sheathing and framing, forty nail connection specimens were tested. Results have shown that both the connection strength and stiffness experience a significant reduction as the insulation thickness increases. These results will be compared with results from a full-scale shear wall tests in order to investigate if the capacity of shear walls with insulated sheathing would experience a similar reduction in structural capacities.

Thermo-Mechanical Approach to Evaluate Softening Behavior of Polystyrene: Validation and Modeling

A Thermo-mechanical technique was developed to determine softening point temperature/glass transition temperature (Tg) of polystyrene exposed to high pressures. The design utilizes the ability of carbon dioxide to lower the glass transition temperature of polymers and acts as plasticizer. In this apparatus, the sorption of carbon dioxide to induce softening of polymers as a function of temperature/pressure is performed and the extent of softening is measured in three-point-flexural-bending mode. The polymer strip was placed in the cell in contact with the linear variable differential transformer (LVDT). CO2 was pumped into the cell from a supply cylinder to reach high pressure. The results clearly showed that full softening point of the samples, accompanied by a large deformation on the polymer strip. The deflection curves are initially relatively flat and then undergo a dramatic increase as the temperature is elevated. It was found that increasing the pressure of CO2 causes the temperature curves to shift from higher to lower by increment of about 45 K, over the pressure range of 0-120 bars. The obtained experimental Tg values were validated with the values reported in the literature. Finally, it is concluded that the defection model fits consistently to the generated experimental results, which attempts to describe in more detail how the central deflection of a thin polymer strip affected by the CO2 diffusions in the polymeric samples.

Effects of Multilayer Coating of Chitosan and Polystyrene Sulfonate on Quality of ‘Nam Dok Mai No.4’ Mango

Ripe ‘Nam Dok Mai’ mango (Mangifera indica L.) is an important exported fruit of Thailand, but rapidly declined in the quality attributes mainly by infection of anthracnose and stem end rot diseases. Multilayer coating is considered as a developed technique to maintain the postharvest quality of mangoes. The utilization of alternated coating by matching oppositely electrostatic charges between 0.1% chitosan and 0.1% polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) was studied. A number of the coating layers (layer by layer) were applied on mature green ‘Nam Dok Mai No.4’ mangoes prior to storage at 25 oC, 65-70% relative humidity (RH). There were significant differences in some quality attributes of mangoes coated by 3½ layers, 4½ layers and 5½ layers. In comparison to coated mangoes, uncoated fruits were higher in weight loss, total soluble solids, respiration rate, ethylene production and disease incidence except the titratable acidity. Coating fruit at 3½ layers exhibited the ripening delay and reducing disease infection without off flavour. On the other hand, fruit coated with 5½ layers comprised the lowest acceptable score, caused by exhibiting disorders from fermentation at the end of storage. As a result, multilayer coating between chitosan and PSS could effectively maintain the postharvest quality of mango, but number of coating layers should be thoroughly considered.

Hygrothermal Assessment of Internally Insulated Prefabricated Concrete Wall in Polish Climatic Condition

Internal insulation of external walls is often problematic due to increased moisture content in the wall and interstitial or surface condensation risk. In this paper, the hygrothermal performance of prefabricated, concrete, large panel, external wall typical for WK70 system, commonly used in Poland in the 70’s, with inside, additional insulation was investigated. Thermal insulation board made out of hygroscopic, natural materials with moisture buffer capacity and extruded polystyrene (EPS) board was used as interior insulation. Experience with this natural insulation is rare in Poland. The analysis was performed using WUFI software. First of all, the impact of various standard boundary conditions on the behavior of the different wall assemblies was tested. The comparison of results showed that the moisture class according to the EN ISO 13788 leads to too high values of total moisture content in the wall since the boundary condition according to the EN 15026 should be usually applied. Then, hygrothermal 1D-simulations were conducted by WUFI Pro for analysis of internally added insulation, and the weak point like the joint of the wall with the concrete ceiling was verified using 2D simulations. Results showed that, in the Warsaw climate and the indoor conditions adopted in accordance with EN 15026, in the tested wall assemblies, regardless of the type of interior insulation, there would not be any problems with moisture - inside the structure and on the interior surface.

A Dose Distribution Approach Using Monte Carlo Simulation in Dosimetric Accuracy Calculation for Treating the Lung Tumor

This paper presents a Monte Carlo (MC) method-based dose distributions on lung tumor for 6 MV photon beam to improve the dosimetric accuracy for cancer treatment. The polystyrene which is tissue equivalent material to the lung tumor density is used in this research. In the empirical calculations, TRS-398 formalism of IAEA has been used, and the setup was made according to the ICRU recommendations. The research outcomes were compared with the state-of-the-art experimental results. From the experimental results, it is observed that the proposed based approach provides more accurate results and improves the accuracy than the existing approaches. The average %variation between measured and TPS simulated values was obtained 1.337±0.531, which shows a substantial improvement comparing with the state-of-the-art technology.

Experimental Investigation on the Efficiency of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Post and Beam System in Protecting Lifelines

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is a cellular geosynthetic material that can be used to protect lifelines (e.g. pipelines, electricity cables, etc.) below ground. Post and beam system is the most recent configuration of EPS blocks which can be implemented for this purpose. It provides a void space atop lifelines which allows settlement of the loading surface with imposing no pressure on the lifelines system. This paper investigates the efficiency of the configuration of post-beam system subjected to static loading. To evaluate the soil surface settlement, beam deformation and transferred pressure over the beam, laboratory tests using two different densities for EPS blocks are conducted. The effect of geogrid-reinforcing the cover soil on system response is also investigated. The experimental results show favorable performance of EPS post and beam configuration in protecting underground lifelines. 

Numerical Investigation on Performance of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Block in Protecting Buried Lifeline Structures

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is often used in below ground applications in geotechnical engineering. A most recent configuration system implemented in roadways to protect lifelines such as buried pipes, electrical cables and culvert systems could be consisted of two EPS geofoam blocks, “posts” placed on each side of the structure, an EPS block capping, “beam” put atop two posts, and soil cover on the beam. In this configuration, a rectangular void space will be built atop the lifeline. EPS blocks will stand all the imposed vertical forces due to their strength and deformability, thus the lifeline will experience no vertical stress. The present paper describes the results of a numerical study on the post and beam configuration subjected to the static loading. Three-dimensional finite element analysis using ABAQUS software is carried out to investigate the effect of different parameters such as beam thickness, soil thickness over the beam, post height to width ratio, EPS density, and free span between two posts, on the stress distribution and the deflection of the beam. The results show favorable performance of EPS geofoam for protecting sensitive infrastructures.

Efficiency of Geocell Reinforcement for Using in Expanded Polystyrene Embankments via Numerical Analysis

This paper presents a numerical study for investigating the effectiveness of geocell reinforcement in reducing pressure and settlement over EPS geofoam blocks in road embankments. A 3-D FEM model of soil and geofoam was created in ABAQUS, and geocell was also modeled realistically using membrane elements. The accuracy of the model was tested by comparing its results with previous works. Sensitivity analyses showed that reinforcing the soil cover with geocell has a significant influence on the reduction of imposed stresses over geofoam and consequently decreasing its deformation.

Preparation of Sorbent Materials for the Removal of Hardness and Organic Pollutants from Water and Wastewater

Ecological pollution is of great concern for human health and the environment. Numerous organic and inorganic pollutants usually discharged into the water caused carcinogenic or toxic effect for human and different life form. In this respect, this work aims to treat water contaminated by organic and inorganic waste using sorbent based on polystyrene. Therefore, two different series of adsorbent material were prepared; the first one included the preparation of polymeric sorbent from the reaction of styrene acrylate ester and alkyl acrylate. The second series involved syntheses of composite ion exchange resins of waste polystyrene and   amorphous carbon thin film (WPS/ACTF) by solvent evaporation using micro emulsion polymerization. The produced ACTF/WPS nanocomposite was sulfonated to produce cation exchange resins ACTF/WPSS nanocomposite. The sorbents of the first series were characterized using FTIR, 1H NMR, and gel permeation chromatography. The thermal properties of the cross-linked sorbents were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis, and the morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The removal of organic pollutant was determined through absorption tests in a various organic solvent. The chemical and crystalline structure of nanocomposite of second series has been proven by studies of FTIR spectrum, X-rays, thermal analysis, SEM and TEM analysis to study morphology of resins and ACTF that assembled with polystyrene chain. It is found that the composite resins ACTF/WPSS are thermally stable and show higher chemical stability than ion exchange WPSS resins. The composite resin was evaluated for calcium hardness removal. The result is evident that the ACTF/WPSS composite has more prominent inorganic pollutant removal than WPSS resin. So, we recommend the using of nanocomposite resin as new potential applications for water treatment process.

Electrical and Thermal Characteristics of a Photovoltaic Solar Wall with Passive and Active Ventilation through a Room

An experimental study was conducted for ascertaining electrical and thermal characteristics of a pair of photovoltaic (PV) modules integrated with solar wall of an outdoor room. A pre-fabricated outdoor room was setup for conducting outdoor experiments on a PV solar wall with passive and active ventilation through the outdoor room. The selective operating conditions for glass coated PV modules were utilized for establishing their electrical and thermal characteristics. The PV solar wall was made up of glass coated PV modules, a ventilated air column, and an insulating layer of polystyrene filled plywood board. The measurements collected were currents, voltages, electric power, air velocities, temperatures, solar intensities, and thermal time constant. The results have demonstrated that: i) a PV solar wall installed on a wooden frame was of more heat generating capacity in comparison to a window glass or a standalone PV module; ii) generation of electric power was affected with operation of vertical PV solar wall; iii) electrical and thermal characteristics were not significantly affected by heat and thermal storage losses; and iv) combined heat and electricity generation were function of volume of thermal and electrical resistances developed across PV solar wall. Finally, a comparison of temperature plots of passive and active ventilation envisaged that fan pressure was necessary to avoid overheating of the PV solar wall. The active ventilation was necessary to avoid over-heating of the PV solar wall and to maintain adequate ventilation of room under mild climate conditions.

Polyvinyl Alcohol Processed Templated Polyaniline Films: Preparation, Characterization and Assessment of Tensile Strength

Polyaniline (PANI) is one of the most extensively studied material among the conducting polymers due to its simple synthesis by chemical and electrochemical routes. PANIs have advantages of chemical stability and high conductivity making their commercial applications quite attractive. However, to our knowledge, very little work has been reported on the tensile strength properties of templated PANIs processed with polyvinyl alcohol and also, detailed study has not been carried out. We have investigated the effect of small molecule and polymers as templates on PANI. Stable aqueous colloidal suspensions of trisodium citrate (TSC), poly(ethylenedioxythiophene)-polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT-PSS), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) templated PANIs were prepared through chemical synthesis, processed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and were fabricated into films by solution casting. Absorption and infra-red spectra were studied to gain insight into the possible molecular interactions. Surface morphology was studied through scanning electron microscope and optical microscope. Interestingly, tensile testing studies revealed least strain for pure PVA when compared to the blends of templated PANI. Furthermore, among the blends, TSC templated PANI possessed maximum elasticity. The ultimate tensile strength for PVA processed, PEG-templated PANI was found to be five times more than other blends considered in this study. We establish structure–property correlation with morphology, spectral characterization and tensile testing studies.

Feasibility of a Biopolymer as Lightweight Aggregate in Perlite Concrete

Lightweight concrete is being used in the construction industry as a building material in its own right. Ultra-lightweight concrete can be applied as a filler and support material for the manufacturing of composite building materials. This paper is about the development of a stable and reproducible ultra-lightweight concrete with the inclusion of poly-lactic acid (PLA) beads and assessing the feasibility of PLA as a lightweight aggregate that will deliver advantages such as a more eco-friendly concrete and a non-petroleum polymer aggregate. In total, sixty-three samples were prepared and the effectiveness of mineral admixture, curing conditions, water-cement ratio, PLA ratio, EPS ratio and perlite ratio on compressive strength of perlite concrete are studied. The results show that PLA particles are sensitive to alkali environment of cement paste and considerably shrank and lost their strength. A higher compressive strength and a lower density was observed when expanded polystyrene (EPS) particles replaced PLA beads. In addition, a set of equations is proposed to estimate the water-cement ratio, cement content and compressive strength of perlite concrete.

Change of the Thermal Conductivity of Polystyrene Insulation in term of Temperature at the Mid Thickness of the Insulation Material: Impact on the Cooling Load

Accurate prediction of the cooling/heating load and consequently, the sizing of the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment require precise calculation of the heat transfer mainly by conduction through envelope components of a building. The thermal resistance of most thermal insulation materials depends on the operating temperature. The temperature to which the insulation materials are exposed varies, depending on the thermal resistance of the materials, the location of the insulation layer within the assembly system, and the effective temperature which depends on the amount of solar radiation received on the surface of the assembly. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the change of the thermal conductivity of polystyrene insulation material in terms of the temperature at the mid-thickness of the material and its effect on the cooling load required by the building.

Reaction to the Fire of a Composite Material the Base of Scrapes of Tires End Latex for Thermal Isolation

The great majority of the applications of thermal isolation in the strip of drops and averages temperatures (up to 200ºC), it is made of materials aggressive nature, such an as glass wool, rock wool, polystyrene, EPS among others. Such materials, in spite of the effectiveness in the retention of the flow of heat, possess considerable cost and when discarded they are long years to be to decompose. In that context, trying to adapt the world politics the about of the preservation of the environment, a study began with intention of developing a material composite, with properties of thermal, originating from insulating industrial residues. In this research, the behavior of the composite was analyzed, as submitted the fire. For this, the reaction rehearsals were accomplished to the fire for the composites 2:1; 1:1; 1:2 and for the Latex, based in the "con" experiment in agreement with the norm ASTM - E 1334 - 90. As consequence, in function of the answers of the system was possible to be observed to the acting of each mixture proportion.

Gypsum Composites with CDW as Raw Material

In this study, the feasibility of incorporating ceramic waste from bricks (perforated brick and double hollow brick) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) waste, is analysed. Results show that it is possible to incorporate up to 25% of ceramic waste and 4% of XPS waste over the weight of gypsum in a gypsum matrix. Furthermore, with the addition of ceramic waste an 8% of surface hardness increase and a 25% of capillary water absorption reduction can be obtained. On the other hand, with the addition of XPS, a 26% reduction of density and a 37% improvement of thermal conductivity can be obtained. The obtained results are favorable to use these materials in order to produce prefabricated gypsum and also as material for interior cladding walls.

Synthesis of Polystyrene Grafting Filler Nanoparticles: Effect of Grafting on Mechanical Reinforcement

A series of polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles were prepared by grafting polystyrene from both aggregated silica and colloidally dispersed silica nanoparticles using atom-transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP). Cross-linking and macroscopic gelation were minimised by using a miniemulsion system. The thermal and mechanical behaviour of the nanocomposites have been examined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA).

Acoustic and Thermal Insulating Materials Based On Natural Fibres Used in Floor Construction

The majority of contemporary insulation materials commonly used in the building industry is made from non-renewable raw materials; furthermore, their production often brings high energy costs. A long-term trend as far as sustainable development is concerned has been the reduction of energy and material demands of building material production. One of the solutions is the possibility of using easily renewable natural raw material sources which are considerably more ecological and their production is mostly less energy-consuming compared to the production of normal insulations (mineral wool, polystyrene). The paper describes the results of research focused on the development of thermal and acoustic insulation materials based on natural fibres intended for floor constructions. Given the characteristic open porosity of natural fibre materials, the hygrothermal behaviour of the developed materials was studied. Especially the influence of relative humidity and temperature on thermal insulation properties was observed.